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GBI: Decatur County Couple Arrested for Felony Murder and Cruelty to Children

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Chadwick Lee Smith and Chavonne Alice McGinness were arrested for Felony Murder and 2nd Degree Felony Cruelty to Children at their home on May 3, 2002, and booked into the Decatur County Jail.

The GBI was requested to investigate the death of an infant male on March 24, 2021, by the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office. GBI agents and Sheriff’s Office investigators began the investigation when the child was brought to the local hospital. The baby weighed just over seven pounds at the time of his birth, and five pounds when he died 6 weeks later.

The case was presented to a Decatur County Grand Jury on May 2, 2022, that returned indictments against the parents.

This investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the GBI Thomasville Office at 229-225-4090. Anonymous tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS (8477), online at, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.

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